Why Pramila Jayapal’s Kashmir resolution finds few takers
There is an increasing realisation in the US Congress that the resolution is counterproductive and to the detriment of close India-US ties
The resolution on Kashmir by Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has so far managed to get only 29 co-sponsors in the 435-member House of Representatives because there is an “increasing realisation” in the US Congress that the matter should be discussed “constructively” and not by embarrassing the Narendra Modi government, a top Indian official told ThePrint.
“Most Congressmen understand that the resolution is counterproductive and to the detriment of close India-US ties. There is a realisation that it is better to engage on the issue in a constructive manner,” said the official, who did not want to be named.
The Congressional resolution, which was introduced in the House of Representatives on 6 December 2019, urges the Modi government to lift restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir, and preserve religious freedom for all residents.
“There is also sensitivity to the fact that a vast majority of Indian Americans are in favour of the government’s J&K initiative. Most Congressmen are briefed regularly on developments in J&K,” the official quoted above added.
The resolution enumerates the security challenges faced by India in Jammu and Kashmir and the continuing threat of state-supported cross-border terrorism. However, it also urges India to refrain from the use of threats and excessive force against peaceful protesters and those detained.
“I have fought to strengthen the special US-India relationship, which is why I’m deeply concerned. Detaining people w/out charge, severely limiting communications, & blocking neutral third-parties from visiting the region is harmful to our close, critical bilateral relationship (sic),” Jayapal had tweeted after introducing the resolution last month.
According to another Indian official, Jayapal has not been able to get even half of the total strength of the House due to the fact that many members of the US Congress, especially those with large Indian-American constituencies, feel “everything about Kashmir, including human rights concerns, is an internal issue that American legislators shouldn’t wade into”.